ni hao3 januari 2005
ni hao all fellow friends of the world!
we are now in beijing, the great city of the east! and yes it is great by all means! we arrived today after a very beautiful ride from irkutsk via ulan bator.
last days in irkutsk was slightly warmer, just -20, which felt like a heat wave for us so everything went smoother. we managed to go down to lake baikal and the village listvianka and eat fresh fish from the deepest lake in the world. we also manage to have a decent new years eve dinner, with the other swedes! then later traditional twelve o’clock fireworks mania in the big park with everything made of ice. then we went to the only place that wasn’t private or shut called ”bier haus” which was a very fancy german restaurant in a basement on ul karla marxa. we got prefect in time for the big cabaret/show that some crazy russians put up. lite teater, lite skamt, lite naket. it was so good! after a few hours later we were invited by the santa claus to drink wiskey with him. now he was wearing a suit. suddenly they change the plasma screens from cctv of the dance floor to some dvd. and guess what it was?
sitting there watching the summer of stockholm and a speed car passing my old street was just too much! and at the same time i realised i was too tired to stay so we left, for china.
had some problems on the russian border to mongolia. we had left the country two days too late so the guard just screamed:
”PROBLEM! STRAFF! GO STATION!”
so we went to the station and got photographed and had to pay a fine – 660 rubles, which is 150SEK/ 12 pounds. the people in the station were much nicer but we still had to pay.
passed ulan bataar while we were sleeping but we woke up in time for the extremely beautiful landscape with camels, horses and vultures. we also shared the coupe with some mongolians who wasn’t nomads. they looked like anyone else. but their eating habits was a bit different. nice cup of tea – with a big chunk of undefinded animal part.
passed the great wall today on our way here. interesting. but most interesting of all is this crazy city!!! i love it! even though i have only seen three blocks or so, so far! found more nice ”souvernirs” in one food store than i did in whole of russia. in russia everything old was gone. here they still have something left. thank god!
ps. we are staying in a hostel in a room with two aussies and one japanese. how do you define a backpacker? are we backpackers? we have been joking about them the whole trip, but what differs us from the aussies? nothing?